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Animal Experiments: Primates

Volume 485: debated on Wednesday 17 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether her Department has (a) inspected and (b) approved an overseas primate supply or breeding facility in Cambodia for the export of primates to the UK for the purposes of scientific research; and if she will make a statement. (243007)

We have previously considered the suitability of a laboratory primate breeding centre in Cambodia, and are reviewing its potential suitability in the light of additional documentation recently received. However, to date we have not received any requests from UK project licence holders to authorise the use of non-human primates acquired from breeding centres in Cambodia. No approval for such requests will be considered until the centre has been visited by the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Inspectorate.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will extend the ban on the importation of wild-caught primates to include primates imported for the purposes of scientific research from countries where there is an indigenous population of that species. (243018)

We have no plans to do so. The use under project licence authority of any non-human primate originating from an overseas source requires the express and prior approval of the Secretary of State which is given only if the conditions at the breeding centre are acceptable to the Home Office at that time. The Home Office appraisal of overseas primate breeding centres is an ongoing process taking account of additional relevant information as it becomes available, whether that be from the breeding centre itself, from users or other stakeholders. Part of this appraisal is to ensure, as far as is practical, from the records maintained, that the non-human primates are not wild caught.